Facts About Stomach

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About Human Stomach

The human body is full of mysteries. Although medical science has progressed greatly in knowing a lot about different organs and parts of the body, what we know is just a drop in the ocean. Today we are going to learn some interesting facts about one of the most important parts of the body- the stomach. The stomach is the organ that receives food through the esophagus. It acts as the primary repository of what we eat. It is round, hollow, muscular, and expendable. It is internally located in the body and is bean-shaped. It is a sac-like structure protected by the lower ribs.

Our stomach secretes gastric juices that help the digestion of food and stores the molecules of food. The general approximate capacity of the human stomach is a quarter gallon, which means it can hold about half a pound of food at a time. In this chapter, we will discover some cool facts about the human stomach.

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Amazing Facts About the Stomach


Fact 1- Capacity of the Stomach

At rest, a stomach can hold about half a pound of the food and 7 ounces of stomach acid and bile at a time. Its average capacity is 32 ounces, which is amazingly good. One meal on an average is digested in 4 to 6 hours, so the capacity of the stomach is important as it acts as the repository of food.


Fact 2- A Person Can Survive Without a Stomach

It is possible to survive even without the stomach with an altered diet and small and frequent meals. Total gastrectomy is the surgical removal of the stomach in which the esophagus is directly attached to the small intestine.


Fact 3- Stomach Holds Concentrated Acid Without Being Corroded or Damaged by it

The stomach has a lining that keeps regenerating on regular intervals to keep the stomach acid intact and the pH maintained. The lining of the stomach also produces some goblet mucus cells to protect itself from the corrosive nature of the hydrochloric acid.


Fact 4- Absorption of Some Vitamins from Food

The stomach is also found to be responsible for absorbing some important vitamins like Vitamin b12 from the food we eat. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach and pepsin enzyme break the locked Vitamin B12 out of its protein so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.


Fact 5- Generation of Hormones

The epithelial cells lining the stomach play a vital role in the production of some hormones. These hormones are related to stimulating appetite, secreting necessary enzymes for digestion and gastric acid, and some hormones regulate the contraction of the gallbladder. These hormones directly enter the bloodstream from the stomach and affect the function of other parts of the digestive system, including the liver and pancreas, and even your brain.


Fact 6- As the First Line of Defense

The stomach acts as the first line of defense in the immune system in the body. The stomach acid not only digests food but sterilizes everything that we eat. Thereby killing many potential bacteria and food toxins. The gastrointestinal tract also has patches of lymphoid defense cells that are sent out when something makes it through the stomach, such as a virus or bacteria that have the potency to cause infection.


Fact 7- Stomach of Other Animals

The stomachs of a few animals like cows, giraffes, cattle, deer are four-chambered. Such morphology of the stomach helps them digest the plant-based food, which is the hardest diet compared to other diets.

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Fact 8- Animals with No Stomach

There are certain animals like carp, lungfishes, seahorses, and platypuses who do not have a stomach. Their esophagus is directly connected to the intestine, which is where the food goes right after ingestion.


Fact 9- Protective Layer of the Stomach

The mucous layer in the stomach is produced every two weeks to protect the stomach and other neighboring organs from being corroded or damaged by the hydrochloric acid.


Fact 10- Hydrochloric Acid in the Stomach

The hydrochloric acid in the stomach is so concentrated and corrosive that it can even dissolve metals. But the stomach itself remains protected by it with the help of the mucous layer.


Fact 11- Easily Digestible Foods

Sugary foods are easily digestible and foods with high fat and protein take more time to digest. A normal meal is digested in five to seven hours whereas, high fiber and protein-containing food are digested a little more over this duration.


Fact 12- Size of the Stomach

The average size of the stomach is about 12 inches long and 6 inches wide and is almost the same for everyone. The size of the stomach does not vary with the weight of the individual. Therefore, thin people and obese people, both have the same stomach sizes.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Capacity of the Stomach?

At rest, a stomach can hold about half a pound of the food and 7 ounces of stomach acid and bile at a time. Its average capacity is 32 ounces, which is amazingly good. One meal on an average is digested in 4 to 6 hours, so the capacity of the stomach is important as it acts as the repository of food.

2. Can a Person Survive Without a Stomach?

It is possible to survive even without the stomach with an altered diet and small and frequent meals. Total gastrectomy is the surgical removal of the stomach in which the esophagus is directly attached to the small intestine.

3. How is the Stomach Protected from the Corrosive HCL?

The mucous layer in the stomach is produced every two weeks to protect the stomach and other neighboring organs from being corroded or damaged by the hydrochloric acid in the stomach.